La Tour Eiffel was constructed 1889 for L'Exposition universelle (World Fair) as a demonstration of French engineering prowess. It was never meant to be an architectural masterpiece. When it was built, it was the tallest man-made structure in the world at 324 meters (1063 ft) tall, far surpassing the Washington Monument (169 meters, 555 ft), which had previously held the title. It was nearly twice as tall as the tallest structure anyone at the fair had ever seen – the Burj Kalifa of its time. In this sense it was surely an engineering feat to boast about.
|La Tour seen from Trocadero|
Today, la Tour Eiffel is a Parisian icon, as French as the pyramids are Egyptian. As an MIT student, I'm probably biased. If I were a 19th Century Parisian, I would likely be supporting Gustave Eiffel with great enthusiasm. I am enamored by the ceaseless human quest for higher. Also, I disagree with the aesthetic Parisians on another point – I find la Tour beautiful.
|Gorgeous metalwork at the base of the tower|
|Anyway that tower was clearly a bad idea.|
However, during our tour on Saturday I looked at La Pyramide and considered why Parisians disliked it. I imagined the Louvre, which was once a palace, without La Pyramide. Later I googled it, to confirm my suspicions:
|Ah, what a lovely palace turned museum!|